As for staying asleep, that is also getting better, although not fully cured. He has taken much better naps. On average he has one nap a day (out of 3 usually) from which he wakes screaming and we know he needs to sleep more. So we usually let him cry and he often cries himself back to sleep. If he doesn't after 15 minutes, we go in and put his paci in and rub his head and try again. If he gets through 2 or 3 crying fits with no sleeping (and it's usually close to feeding time), I get him up. He still has a pretty predictable 6am wake up and play time, but he goes back to sleep and gets up for good between 7 and 7:30am. Not so bad at all! He usually sleeps through all the way until then...yay! If he does whimper, or even cry, he generally puts himself back to sleep without needing me to go in there to do anything. Success!
Now, yesterday and last night were interesting. Between 7:45am when he got out of bed and 10:00pm when he got up for his last bottle, he slept over 7 hours during the day! I think he's catching up from all that fighting sleep he did, lol! But, then he had a rough night, waking up and crying for a half hour at 1am, then waking up at 3am and playing. Finally at 4am, I went in and had to re-swaddle him. He likes to escape his miracle blanket when he is awake and then play with it, chew on it, etc. It's adorable in the morning...not so much at 4am:). He got really mad when I didn't get him out of the crib and cried a lot, broke my heart. He cried for a half hour in there, then finally was quiet and didn't wake up again until 7am. I think he just took naps that were way too long during the day and wasn't actually tired enough to sleep through. But there was no way I was going to encourage a 4am wake up time! Not in my house!
So, the main thing we need to work on now is predictability. His naps happen between each feeding, but other than that, we are not in a predictable schedule with them, which I'd love to have. I'd love to be able to make appointments and plan my day, knowing about when he will be awake and when he'll need to be sleeping. And his bedtime is all over the place right now. Sometimes he'll go down between 7 and 9pm, and then just sleep through the night. He doesn't even get up for a last bottle! Then last night he had his last feeding around 5:30pm, fell asleep around 7pm and then of course got up at 10pm for his last bottle. And then sometimes he has a last bottle around 8pm and doesn't go to bed until 10pm. Like I said, all over the place. My guess is he will just settle into something - that's the way he works. I can't force his schedule, he just has to kind of figure it out and we go with it. But, that is my big goal next - having a more predictable schedule. I am flexible, I don't need him to go down at the exact time every day, but within the same half hour to hour would be nice!
Overall, though, we are making amazing progress in just a few days. And, honestly, it took less than 24 hours to see a complete difference. And he is SUCH a different baby now, or maybe our experience of him is different because we are so much less stressed. He plays like a champ (adorable picture post to come on how he falls asleep in his jumper:)) and we now just know we can put him down to sleep when he gets fussy, instead of fighting him as he is fighting sleep, which is what we were doing. It was miserable. The success has come just in time for chaos to hit our house once again when baby girl arrives!
So, that's our story! Thank you all for all your advice and guidance! It was comforting to hear that I'm not the only mommy who had to employ the "crying it out" method to get her baby to sleep. It's funny how different babies can be. Some of you have babies who just have a schedule and stick to it and sleep like angels! Others have babies who require a little more work on mommy's (and daddy's) part. We definitely have the latter in our house:). Keep your fingers crossed that baby girl is one of the good eaters and sleepers, so I can keep my sanity...lol! Thanks again, everyone!